Three weeks ago, the SPAC artist-cum-podcast impresario Chamath Palihapitiya opened his home in Silicon Valley to a select group of center-right technorati that wanted to get to know Vivek Ramaswamy. The fundraiser’s invitation featured in bold font the event’s glamorous co-hosts—Chamath’s bestie David Sacks, crypto investor Matt Huang, and Altimeter Capital’s Brad Gerstner—and the price tag for the meet-and-greet: $50,000 for an “intimate dinner and discussion with special guest” Vivek. But the most interesting person in attendance wasn’t mentioned on the invitation at all: Elon Musk.
Until now, Elon’s attendance at the Ramaswamy fundraiser, the only 2024 finance event he has attended, was kept a secret. But their bromance is now playing out in full public view. On Monday, Musk and Sacks co-hosted a fawning Twitter/X “Spaces” event with the Republican presidential candidate, in which all three of them lavished praise on one another for making points “very elegantly” and “beautifully” about how to “Prevent World War 3,” as the event was billed. (Musk said that the risk is “increasing rapidly”; Ramaswamy agreed that “if we do enter World War 3, the United States, as we know it, will cease to exist.”)
But it’s not just Ramaswamy: Behind the scenes, far from Iowa and New Hampshire, presidential candidates have been competing to warm up the world’s richest man. At least four different campaigns and their supporters have recently been trying to curry favor with Elon to get him to send a supportive tweet to his 160 million followers, cut him a check, or at least not sic his fanatical supporters on them.